Wayne Ross.
Wayne Ross. THe Northern Star/David Nielsen

Box Ridge community centre on the home stretch

WHEN three generations of your family have grown up in a community, you tend to want the best for it.

That is why Box Ridge resident Wayne Ross has gone shovel-in-hand to assist with the final stage of construction for a $718,000 centre for the community.

He believes the centre, which has been eight years in the making, will help get 'kids off the streets' in Box Ridge and provide a much-needed boost to the community.

“Once it's finished, this place will make everything safer and cleaner for the kids here,” he said.

The community centre will provide a combination of health, child care, youth and employment training services for about 100 residents living in the Aboriginal community, on the outskirts of Coraki.

Bogal Aboriginal Land Council Chief Executive Officer Lance Manton said the centre would also help alter negative perceptions held by some members about their community.

“The centre will give people a bit of pride in Box Ridge, because they will have this place that looks good and is also very accessible to them,” he said.

“It will also provide services that are culturally appropriate.”

North Coast Area Health Service Chief Executive Chris Crawford said without a dedicated centre at Box Ridge, some health services have had to be provided outdoors.

Consequently, there has been no privacy, services have been dependent on prevailing weather conditions and have often been delivered ad hoc, he said.

The presence of workmen in Box Ridge has provided hope for Raylene Cavanough, who is raising nine children in the community.

“Things will just be better when it's finished,” she said.

Construction of the centre is due to finish within the next few weeks, and the official opening is set to take place before the end of the year.

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